ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Come September, Rochester production company Fish & Crown Creative is shooting a feature film, “Strait Undercover.” The company does advertisement, “institutional work,” and more, but is tackling this scripted project with this new film.

It features actor Race Eberhardt in the lead role. He has Down syndrome. To fill out the cast, Fish & Crown is putting out a casting call for 13 roles. If you are interested, you can apply here. Ben Gonyo, the owner of the production company discussed the film, Eberhardt, and the casting call.

Dan: Fantastic. Well, let’s talk about that next project. It’s called straight undercover. First, talk to me about creating the idea. And then secondly, what is the plot of Strait Undercover?

Ben: Sure. So a couple years ago, we met the actor Race Eberhardt on a TV pilot, and he’s an actor with Down syndrome. Extremely talented, super lovable guy. He had a small bit part in this TV pilot. I talked to his mom, I said, I want to do something with him. I don’t know what it is. Let’s put on the back burner. We’ll come up with something. Fast forward two years later, we’re here now we came up with a great story. I’ll segue into that story. He plays an undercover agent goes into this biotech company out in the country. It’s a very rural setting, you know, cornfields out in the country. He goes undercover and he finds out everything that they’re doing bad there. His character’s name is Race Strait, so “Strait Undercover.” And, you know, one thing leads to another, he saves the day. So there’s a great film called “Peanut Butter Falcon” – which is well known because it stars an actor with Down syndrome – and it’s beautifully done. So that’s an obvious connection. There’s “Goonies” an adventure-based family adventure where you’re following people in, there’s gonna be some quirky fun, like a “Napoleon Dynamite.” And it’s an action comedy family focus. So PG rating, it’s gonna be a lot of fun.

Dan: Fantastic. We talk about a feature film, we do a very small version of this here at News 8. What does it take to put together a feature film?

Ben: Okay, it’s insanity. It’s not for the faint of heart. We are a production company. So this is what we do. We do it on a commercial level, we’ve done some scripted. So we’re equipped to do this. But it’s still even for us, it’s a ton of work. It’s a ton of resources. It all starts with a script. You need a story, then what is that story, then you need to cast the characters and find the locations, we work on wardrobe props, getting everything to look the way we want it as best as we can within our resources. And then actually, the shooting of it is the fun part, that’s only going to be about three weeks. So there’s a lot of build-up, shoot it, you get it in the can, as they say, and then we go into the edit, which will take three to six months.

Dan: Awesome. And we talked about the actual shooting part of it. And one of the reasons you’re here talking about this project is you’re looking for 13 key roles. As we wrap up here, what are those 13 key roles, or at least an idea, and if people want to be part of this project, how can people apply?

Ben: We’re casting, we have 13 key roles. We also have extras and feature players who might not be a huge role, so we can use other folks as well. And then we do have some space for volunteers that just want to work on a set, maybe run the craft table. So their 13 key roles on our website, fishing crown.com/casting. We have them all laid out with pictures. It’s a very diverse cast, all age ranges, everything from a suave, kind of nerdy, scientist, you know, Suave, nerdy, does that go together? I mean, he looks cool, but he’s a nerd. We have a disgruntled farmer, we have an angry, angry farmer character. We have a couple of goons, we have a female scientist who’s extremely smart. So we have a good variety. It’s all laid out on the site and you can cast strikes and you can send us a message right from there.